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Karnataka government puts gomala land grant to RSS-linked body on hold

In September last year, the BJP government gave 35.33 acres of gomala to the Janaseva Trust. 
Last Updated : 14 July 2023, 02:44 IST
Last Updated : 14 July 2023, 02:44 IST

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The grant of 35.33 acres of gomala land to the RSS-linked Janaseva Trust in Bengaluru has been put on hold by the Siddaramaiah-led Congress administration, along with other such allotments made by the previous BJP government.

In September last year, the BJP government gave 35.33 acres of gomala — government land reserved for animal grazing — at Kurubarahalli, Tavarekere in Bengaluru South taluk to the Janaseva Trust.

Five days after taking office, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah issued a note on May 25, directing authorities to maintain the status quo on lands granted by the previous BJP government.

In a written reply to BJP lawmaker ST Somashekar’s question on government lands given to various organisations in the Bengaluru South taluk, Revenue Minister Krishna Byre Gowda cited the CM’s note to say that the allotment of 35.33 acres to the Janaseva Trust is on hold.

Gowda told DH the CM’s note is applicable not just to the Janaseva Trust, but to all allotments made in the months leading up to the Assembly election.

The Janaseva Trust runs educational institutions at Channenahalli on Magadi Road. When contacted, Janaseva Trust secretary Nirmal Kumar said: “There is no communication regarding this to the Trust from any source of the government.”

Between 2019 and 2022, when the BJP was in power, 252.36 acres of gomala land in nine districts was granted to various organisations, including the Adichunchunagiri Mutt, Siddaganga Mutt, ISKCON, Rashtrotthana Parishat, Karnataka Lawn Tennis Association, Vokkaligara Sangha and others.

“We’re reviewing cases of hurried allotments, which includes undeserving grants,” Gowda said. The minister pointed out that one nonprofit was granted 35 acres of land for the purpose of a goshala. “We will review grants on the basis of eligibility and objective. We'll look at whether or not public interest was involved,” he added.

In 2018, the Comptroller & Auditor General (CAG) had flagged the grant of gomala lands.

The Karnataka Land Revenue Rules require 30 acres to be earmarked for every 100 cattle as gomala. A deputy commissioner can reduce gomala land only with prior approval. The CAG had pointed out that various High Court judgements asked the government not to grant gomala land. But in January 2008, rules were amended to allow grant of gomala land situated in and around city limits.

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Published 13 July 2023, 19:17 IST

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